Fighting for a Spot on the Flag Line
Newly appointed section leader, Bailey Kestner, and fellow color guard members at a 2013 half time show.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Close to 70 prospective members from around the country traveled to the University of Arkansas in April to audition for a spot on the Razorback Marching Band Color Guard. Also known as “the line,” the color guard performs with the Razorback Marching Band during every pre-game performance, halftime show, pep rally and exhibition.
“The color guard is one of the most visible portions of the marching band,” said Robert Hopper, associate director of operations for the Bands Program. “As with auditions for our musicians and twirlers, we take these choices very seriously.”
When chosen as a member of the guard, each student receives a band scholarship and the opportunity to perform in front of more than 72,000 Razorback fans. These are two of the many reasons that Trey Antonetti, color guard coordinator, aims for the line to show excellence in practice and performance.
“This means that our standards are set high and each season becomes progressively more intense,” Antonetti said.
This year’s auditions included technique blocks, basic dance and learning a routine to the song “Let It Go” from the Disney film Frozen.
Antonetti judged the routines along with director of athletic bands Ben Chamberlain, color guard assistant Betsy O’Connor and guest judge Shawna Patach.
“We experienced a high level of ability and a large number of qualified applicants,” Antonetti said. “The potential for excellence within the audition pool was the highest we have ever seen.”
More than 30 members of in the Razorback Marching Band Color Guard will return for the 2014-15 season. Members chosen were set apart from the group because they demonstrated technical and performance skills throughout the day, as well as the potential for growth and ability to take direction and process information.
The color guard section leaders for the 2014-15 season are Bailey Kestner and Isabelle Hutchinson. Student leaders are expected to be poised, self-motivated and positive role models as they teach and perform with their fellow members of the Razorback Marching Band.
“If you present yourself as a leader in a kind, genuine manner, respecting your teammates, they will look up to you and follow your actions,” Kestner said. “This will ultimately create a unity in the team, with all members striving for the same goal with as little conflict as possible.”
Kestner said she is looking forward to the 14 new members joining the line and is excited about the upcoming season’s halftime shows.
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